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ANTACIDS-IS THERE A HEALTHIER OPTION?
I need to take antacids because my stomach produces too much acid." Are you sure? Was the acidity of your stomach actually checked? That involves things like swallowing a radio-transmitting pH device, preferably on a string. Chances are you and your doctor relied on your symptoms and assumed you had too much acid. In fact, the statistics are the majority of people taking antacids were not producing enough acid to begin with. Startling isn't it? Let's take it one step at a time... Stomach acid digests food, activates some digestive enzymes, and encourages friendly microbes (the kind that make vitamins and antibiotics for you) versus unfriendly (the kind that can rob your nutrients, produce gas, irritation and poisons). Unfortunately, for the average American, our ability to produce acid and digestive enzymes peaked around age 11. This progressively gets worse. until by the time we are elderly, it is expected that we will be in trouble. Actually, it doesn't have to be that way. So why do you have the symptoms of "excess stomach acid"? To help answer that, here's the layout: The esophagus (tube) comes from your mouth, down through the diaphragm (bottom of your rib cage) and empties into your stomach. The stomach is a tough place, its walls (in health) lined with protective alkaline mucous fluid. The esophagus doesn't have such protection, so there's a valve (lower esophageal sphincter=LES) at its bottom end to prevent stomach acid from splashing up. In hiatal hernia, the LES is crimped, impairing it. When you eat too much food for you to digest, food plus acid, pushes up against the LES. Some foods, like fat and caffeine,, can make the LES function improperly. If the LES fails, the esophagus gets irritated and you get heartburn. The stomach contents might even come up (esophageal reflux). So commonly it is not too much stomach acid, but failure of the LES to operate properly. If you have a hiatal hernia, get it fixed (surgery is not the only answer). If you are eating irritating foods or too much food for your stomach to hold, stop doing that or...digest it, by sending it down into the small intestine...away from that tender esophagus. By removing stomach acid with antacids, you are probably decreasing digestion, therefore, making it harder to get nutrients out of your food. You may also alkalize the whole GI tract, making it a breeding ground for bad microbes. Calcium antacids can be a cheap source of calcium if you absorb and utilize it and" if it doesn't encourage magnesium deficiency (common in Americans). Calcium antacids are so efficient at neutralizing acid that the stomach thinks A LOT of food must have arrived and puts out more acid. This often leads to antacid addiction - you are taking more and more antacids over time to get the same results. Magnesium antacids are mostly non-absorbable and will not help with magnesium deficiencies. They can bind up nutrients and water leading to a watery stool or diarrhea. The research showing that toxicity of aluminum is growing yearly; as a result, aluminum antacids are suspicious. H2 blockers - for example, Tagamet, Zantac, Pepcid, Axid - decrease the ability of your stomach to produce acid, a-doubtful benefit. H2 blockers can seriously impair the ability of your liver to get rid of poisons. H2 blockers are poisons that can lead to further poisoning from other toxins. The body is exquisitely designed to adapt. Your stomach and LES will get used to the antacids and H2 blockers and come to rely on them for normal functioning. Now, to be NORMAL you need a regular intake of a drug - antacids or H2 blockers. What's the healthier option? Improve your digestion! Unfortunately, taking hydrochloric acid can further irritate the esophagus and relax the LES. Eat healthier and have a healthy GI tract. While you and your doctors get around to doing that, you can take digestive enzymes with your food. The stabilized plant enzymes sold by PROZYME PRODUCTS, LTD. under the brand name TYME ZYME will work no matter what your stomach acid level. They will digest food, getting it away from the stomach and esophagus, away from delicate tissues. They will also make it easier on your lower GI tract. • .
- Don't paint over the problem with antacids, fix the problem with improved digestion! Help your digestive system, don't hinder it. By Ray Bayley, DC, DACBN (Diplomate of the American Chiropractic Board of Nutrition) 6-11-96 Reprinted with permission by PROZYME PRODUCTS, LTD. Distributors of TYME ZYME™